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MIT OpenCourseWareMIT 11.949 City Visions: Past and Future, Spring 2004 (2004)

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This class is intended to introduce students to understandings of the city generated from both social science literature and the field of urban design. The first part of the course examines literature on the history and theory of the city. Among other factors, it pays special attention to the larger territorial settings in which cities emerged and developed (ranging from the global to the national to the regional context) and how these affected the nature, character, and functioning of cities and the lives of their inhabitants. The remaining weeks focus more explicitly on the theory and practice of design visions for the city, the latter in both utopian and realized form. One of our aims will be to assess the conditions under which a variety of design visions were conceived, and to assess them in terms of the varying patterns of territorial "nestedness" (local, regional, national, imperial, and global) examined in the first part of the course. Another will be to encourage students to think about the future prospects of cities (in terms of territorial context or other political functions and social aims) and to offer design visions that might reflect these new dynamics.

View the complete course at:

This movie is part of the collection: MIT OpenCourseWare

Producer: MIT OpenCourseWare
Audio/Visual: sound, color
Language: English
Keywords: understandings of the city; social science literature and the field of urban design; literature on the history and theory of the city; larger territorial settings; nature; character; and functioning of cities; lives of inhabitants; theory and practice of design visions for the city; utopian; utopian and realized form; patterns of territorial ?nestedness?; future prospects of cities; territory; cities; context; local; national; global; urban settings; city design; social justice; politics of change; urban design; history; theory; territorial settings; urbanites; city dwellers; inhabitants; nestedness; regional; imperial; politics; sociology

Creative Commons license: Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0

Individual Files

Movie Files Thumbnail Animated GIF Ogg Video Real Media 512Kb MPEG4
Week 5: Urban Utopias 4.0 KB 
380.8 KB 
415.7 MB 
166.2 MB 
430.9 MB 
Week 1: The City as a Social, Legal, and Political Concept 3.9 KB 
369.7 KB 
319.2 MB 
137.4 MB 
358.8 MB 
Week 13: Considering Jerusalem 3.9 KB 
351.0 KB 
407.6 MB 
206.4 MB 
468.0 MB 
Week 11: Scales of Agency in a Global World: Individuals, Cities, Nations, and Beyond 399.2 KB 
258.2 MB 
174.1 MB 
306.3 MB 
Information FormatSize
MIT11.949S04_files.xml Metadata [file] 
MIT11.949S04_meta.xml Metadata 2.5 KB 

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